NEO Adds First Independent Node

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After announcing the election of a new consensus node, NEO has rejoined the top-10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. Until now, all nodes have been operated by the project’s team.

The July 4th announcement appeared to bode well for bulls, who purchased more than $400 million worth of NEO in a 24-hour window. The cryptocurrency now sits at 10th position by market capitalization, up 17.6% at time of press.

To run the new consensus node, NEO’s China-based team have elected the City of Zion — a global, independent group of open-source NEO developers — who have been running a candidate node on the blockchain’s testnet since January 2018.

As per classical public blockchains such as Ethereum, NEO now has a webpage tracking the blockchain’s operational status — including the number of active consensus and candidate nodes, block height, and block time.

End of an Era?

One could view the team’s announcement as a consolation for NEO critics — who have often pointed to the NEO team’s monopolistic operation of nodes as a cause for concern. Hearing news of the independent node, one user tweeted:

NEO would appear to see the gradual addition of nodes as a necessary endeavor, however. During an interview on NEOTALK, NEO Founder and CEO Da Hongfei stated:

“We have to be very careful with decentralization of the consensus nodes, because the protocol of NEO is evolving very fast. We need those consensus nodes to act very quickly to upgrade, and if there is a bug or a security issue, we need them to respond very quickly. So we’re doing the decentralisation process slowly, gradually and very carefully.”

While the City of Zion node will not yet amount to true decentralization — with 6 of 7 nodes still run by the project itself — NEO has published a roadmap outlining the process.

A number of third-parties have been picked to run consensus nodes — including Netherlands-based telecommunications provider KPN, and Chinese blockchain investment giant Fenbushi Capital — both of which have maintained nodes on the NEO TestNet since April, 2018.

The additional nodes are to be added to the mainnet by the close of 2018, according to NEO’s “Timeline of NEO Decentralization Process”.

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